St Helens among top 10 UK areas with highest quit smoking rate

St Helens has been named among the top 10 areas across the UK with the highest rate of residents who quit smoking.

Monday, 31st May 2021, 11:26 am
Updated Tuesday, 1st June 2021, 10:12 am

Over the last year searches for ‘how to quit smoking’ have increased by 15%. With the public being more health conscious than ever, the latest data from Public Health England reveals the areas that have had the most—and the least—success quitting smoking, with 5 of the 10 least successful areas being in London.

Brent, Barking and Dagenham, and Havering have been found to have the lowest successful smoking quit rates in England over lockdown, with a quit rate of less than 0.1%. This is over 20 times lower than the England average of 1.81%.

Two further London boroughs, Sutton and Redbridge, also feature among the ten lowest quit rate areas, according to the latest data from Public Health England's 2019/20 Local Tobacco Control Profiles.

St Helens has been named among the top 10 areas across the UK with the highest rate of residents who quit smoking

The figures, collated by Vape Club ahead of the WHO’s World No Tobacco Day 2021, Monday May 31, reveals a detailed look at where smoking remains an issue and to what extent areas across England have achieved smoking cessation − their ‘quit rate’.

In St Helens 946 smokers successfully ditched the habit - a rate of 4.94%.

Other regions across the UK that had the lowest proportion of successful quitters were North Lincolnshire (0.12%) and Cumbria (0.17%). With World No Tobacco Day’s campaign this year being ‘Commit to Quit’ following a surge of interest in lockdown, experts urge the public to commit to smoking cessation.

Hammersmith and Fulham was the area that achieved the highest rate of smoking cessation, with a quit rate of 6.74% – more than triple the England average. This was followed by Knowsley (5.49%), with the second-highest quit rate, and Wirral (5.42%) with the third-highest rate, both in the North West.

Dan Marchant, Director at the UK’s largest online retailer, Vape Club said: “Vaping gives a real alternative to traditional smoking cessation products, and as the study shows they are actually twice as effective. It is fantastic to see organisations such as Public Health England and the NHS embrace the public health breakthrough that is vaping, but we still have a long way to go to get this message out to the millions of smokers left in the UK”.

Dr Zirva Khan, GP at Loomer Road Surgery in North Staffordshire, said: “Unfortunately because of the pandemic, many healthy lifestyle changes people had started to make including smoking cessation, abruptly came to a halt. I have seen many of my patients take up unhealthy habits again like smoking as a way of coping with the stresses they have had to face.

Education needs to be holistic, and not just focussed on the health benefits, but social and financial advantages too. Another big issue to tackle is that smoking cessation services need to be accessible. Services have become centralised and there is no incentive for people, employers or organisations to tackle smoking cessation. Smoking cessation services ideally should also be trained to signpost people who access them to other relevant services to tackle the underlying reason of why they are smoking. For some it is indeed a choice, for many others it’s their escape from their difficulties”.